The Diamond as Big as the Ritz Development History
June 2018 -- 29-hour Equity staged reading directed by Aaron Galligan-Stierle, music direction by Cody Dry and featuring featuring James Seol (KPOP, Nomination, Outstanding Lead Actor), Carol Angeli (Miss Saigon revival, Here Lies Love), Sumayyah Ali (The Great comet, The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess), Reji Woods (Rocktopia), and Cooper Grodin (Phantom and Les Miserables tours). Broadway World story here.
November 2017 -- 29-hour Equity staged reading directed by Austin Regan, music direction by Cody Dry and featuring Marc de la Cruz (If/Then, Pacific Overtures), Diane Phelan (The King and I, Here Lies Love), Reji Woods (The Wiz), Shiniya Daniels and Matthew Schatz (Heathers: the Musical). Playbill story here. Broadway World story here.
August 2017 -- Table read of first draft.
July 2017 -- Premiere of five songs at Broadway Meows benefit at Don't Tell Mama.
James Seoul (Yash/John) Broadway: A Naked Girl on the Appian Way (Roundabout Theatre Company). Off-Broadway: KPOP (Lucille Lortel Nomination; Ars Nova/Ma-Yi/Woodshed Collective); Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova); Around the World in 80 Days (Davenport Theatre). Regional: Vietgone and The Orphan of Zhao (American Conservatory Theatre); The Four Immigrants and Tokyo Fish Story (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Goodspeed Musicals and Paper Mill Playhouse); Zombie: the American (Woolly Mammoth); Hamlet (Hartford Stage); Timon of Athens (Shakespeare Theatre Company). James has also worked with New York Theatre Workshop, New Dramatists and B-Side Productions. Upcoming: Henry VI (NAATCO). He is a proud graduate of the Juilliard School and the University of Virginia.
Carol Angeli (Mira/Kismine) is excited to join the cast! Fresh from the Tony nominated Broadway Revival of Miss Saigon (Gigi us/ Dance Captain). Off Broadway: Here Lies Love (Asst. Dance Captain/ us Estrella) at The Public Theatre (written by David Byrne, additional music by Fatboy Slim), Sayonara (Takarazuka Dancer) at Pan Asian Rep. National Tours: Disney’s Mary Poppins (us Mrs. Corry) 1st National Tour & 2nd National Tour, Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Favorite Regional: Miss Saigon (Kim), The King & I (Tup Tim us/ Uncle Thomas), Children of Eden (Yonah), South Pacific (Liat), Carousel (Louise us, Ensemble), Romeo & Juliet (Juliet), Brass Heart The Musical (Her), Sacramento Music Circus, Ogunquit Playhouse, Drury Lane, Long Wharf Theatre, Court Theatre, Dallas Summer Musicals, Williamstown Theatre Festival, etc. TV: Dancing with the Stars, 71st annual Tony Awards. Her greatest role to date coming September 2018 as Mommy to a Baby Boy with the Love of her Life, Travis Ward- Osborne.
Sumayya Ali (French Official/Gypsum/Mrs. Washington) is
an actor, singer, multi instrumentalist, composer and writer. Broadway credits include Ragtime, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812. Movies include Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer and Easter Mysteries which recently premiered on NBC. Look for the release of her debut album at end of summer. Instagram/Twitter @sumayyasings
Reji Woods (Man/Percy/Aviator) is a versatile performer with a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida Conservatory Theatre. He has performed throughout the United States as well as in Paris, Amsterdam, and India! Reji is the co-founder/owner Bending Threads Cabaret Company based in New York, NY, and the founder of Reji Woods Productions based in Lancaster, PA. His New York credits include Rocktopia (Broadway), The Wiz, Black Nativity, Romeo & Juliet, and Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe. Reji enjoyed an extensive national tour and regional theatre career with his favorite credits including Big River, Smokey Joe's Café, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Seussical: The Musical, Jamaica, Guys & Dolls, West Side Story, Chess, Is There Life After High School?, and Little Shop of Horrors.
Cooper Grodin (American Official/Braddock) is happy to reunite with Seth on a project after 13 years! Title role in the Phantom Of The Opera National tour, title role in the Zorro Asian Tour, Les Miserables National Tour, Into the Woods at Shakespeare In The Park music direction by Paul Gemignani, Evita at Vancouver Opera alongside Ramin Karimloo, the Atlantic Theater Company’s reading of The Band’s Visit directed by Hal Prince, Drama Desk nominated best revival of Golden Land, Carbonell Nominated best actor in title role of Sunday In The Park With George at Zoetic Stage, Rooster in Annie at Paper Mill Playhouse alongside Beth Level. New ABC series Deception. Original pop album “It’s The Little Things” available on iTunes. With The Price Group.
Aaron Galligan-Stierle, Director, has directed at Sacramento Theater Company (The Tempest), The Family Arts Center in Time’s Square (Under the Bodhi Tree) and at NYU-GMTWP (too many to count). Associate Director for Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (National Tour, Madison Square Garden, The Wang and Grand Ole Opry) and Charlie’s Aunt and Twelve Angry Men at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Aaron’s extensive performance resume includes 3 Broadway shows (The Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas), 7 seasons at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and over 50 regional acting credits. Aaron worked as an Executive Producer and Casting Director for the upcoming feature film Ruin Me. Aaron owns a professional audition coaching business in NYC.
Cody Dry, Music Director is a recent transplant from Dallas, TX. Regional music directing credits: LES MISERABLES, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, RENT, THE LAST FIVE YEARS, CAROUSEL, GUYS AND DOLLS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. Cody's previous experience with new works includes THE BALLAD HUNTERS, book by Carlos Murillo and music and lyrics by Patrick Emile, which was staged at The New Dramatists; and AS WE LIE STILL, book by Olivia de Guzman, music and lyrics by Patrick Emile, which has seen productions at the University of Western Kentucky, NYMF, and Contemporary Theatre of Dallas. Cody is part-time faculty as music director, vocal coach and accompanist at the Hartt School in Connecticut, as well as a vocal coach and copyist in New York City.
Marc de la Cruz (Yash/John): Broadway: If/Then. Off Broadway: Pacific Overtures (Classic Stage Company), Three Days to See (Transport Group). Tour/International: If/Then (David), Where Elephants Weep (Cambodia), Disney's High School Musical. Regional: Miss Saigon, Allegiance, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Making Tracks; various work with The 5th Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre, ReAct, Northwest Asian American Theatre, San Jose Rep, Casa Manana, North Carolina Theatre
Diane Phelan (Mira/Kismine): is an NYC-based actor, director & photographer. Broadway: The King and I (OBC) LCT. Off Broadway: Here Lies Love (Imelda Standby) The Public, Bernarda Alba (Adela Standby) LCT. Select Regional and Tour: West Side Story (Maria, 50th anniversary tour), Oklahoma (Laurey, BTG), Pirates of Penzance (Mabel, CRT), Carousel (Julie Jordan, NAAP) South Pacific (LCT tour). Founder Broadway Diversity Project. SDCF Observership class 2017-2018. Diane most recently produced & directed the benefit Broadway United For Puerto Rico raising close to $4000 for the cause United for Puerto Rico. www.Dianephelan.com
Reji Woods (Man/Percy/Aviator) is a versatile performer with a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida Conservatory Theatre. He has performed throughout the United States as well as in Paris, Amsterdam, and India! Reji is the co-founder/owner Bending Threads Cabaret Company based in New York, NY, and the founder of Reji Woods Productions based in Lancaster, PA. His New York/Off-Broadway credits include The Wiz, Black Nativity, Romeo & Juliet, and Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe. Reji enjoyed an extensive national tour and regional theatre career with his favorite credits including Big River, Smokey Joe's Café, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Seussical: The Musical, Jamaica, Guys & Dolls, West Side Story, Chess, Is There Life After High School?, and Little Shop of Horrors.
Matthew Schatz (American Official/Braddock)- Selected theater credits include Million Dollar Quartet (Johnny Cash), First Date (Aaron), and the original company of the Off-Broadway hit Heathers: The Musical. He has also been seen on screen in Difficult People (Hulu), Hostages (CBS), and I Love You But I Lied (Lifetime). Thank you R.C. and Seth for including Matt in your process! For more information about Matt, please come up and ask. He's very friendly, but he sucks at social media.
Shiniya Daniels (French Official/Gypsum) is a recent graduate from St. John’s University and The American Academy of Dramatic, where she was featured in a Greek adaptation of Iphigenia and Other Daughters and contemporary play, The Thugs. She performed in her first professional play with the New Jersey Play Writing Contest in the new play The Grand Tour. After, she performed in several cabaret including the Seth Bisen-Hersh Talent Showcase, Seth’s Tenth Anniversary Showcase, and the Ninth Annual Broadway Meows.